It’s great when you exercise and see the results. You feel good, you look good and you’re ready to take on the world. But then suddenly you reach a plateau and things seem to slow down…
A while back I was at gym feeling happily energetic and almost done with my workout. Fifteen minutes before the end the trainer wanted me to do a weight-lifting exercise. Try as I might, I just couldn’t make the stacked weights budge. No amount of motivation was going to help, and my bright new pink gym top which had initially made me feel pretty sporty, now felt more like a bright highlighter marking out the blonde girl who couldn’t do the exercise.
Losing the last couple of kgs can sometimes feel just like that. You’re trying to do everything right, changing your attitude, staying motivated and working towards your goals, but those final kilogrammes just won’t budge. This could be why:
You’re overeating healthy foods
You may have decided to make the move to healthier eating this year. Awesome stuff, we’re all behind you on that one! But you may also have fallen into the trap of thinking that healthier food is “free food” and that you can eat as much of it as you want. Sadly, that’s not true. Here are a few examples:
- Oils may be good for you, but they’re still a source of fat. Drenching your salad in oil is not the way to go about it – rather add a little bit just for the flavour.
- Fruits give us a great variety of nutrients and fibre, but they also contain fructose, a type of sugar, and need to be eaten in moderation. Something like two cups of strawberries give you around 100 calories, and that needs to be taken into account.
- Dark chocolate is better for your health than other chocolate, but that unfortunately doesn’t mean you can eat a whole slab in one go! Have a block or two, enjoy it, then put the rest away. Or better yet, share it!
- Nuts are a fantastic source of good fats and protein, but again, eating many handfuls a day will result in a too high fat intake. Stick to a handful, either eaten as is or incorporated into a meal.
- Just because a product is labelled “lite” or “reduced sugar”, doesn’t mean that it’s that much better than the original. These products often have added ingredients that aren’t so good for you, so in that case stick to the real, original product and have the appropriate amount instead of filling up on the “lite” version.
You exercise until you’re ravenous
You’ve just done a tough training session and really pushed yourself, but now you’re hungry and want to eat. Like now, not just now.
You get home and, unless you have a well-balanced meal ready and waiting for you, you eat everything you can get your hands on while preparing a meal… Popcorn, chips, cheese and crackers, a sandwich, etc. Or you stop on the way home and get a take-away large enough to feed a family and devour it all before you’ve even reached your front door.
Justifying this kind of eating by saying you’ve just spent over an hour exercising isn’t going to help you in the long run. Rather eat a little something before you exercise, or plan your day so that you know you’ll have nutritious food at hand to eat afterwards.
If you really can’t wait until you get home, remember to take a few bucks to the gym and grab a Blueberry Lemon Twist smoothie or a Good Morning Wrap at KAUAI
Written for the Virgin Active blog
Featured image sourced from Pinterest